Written By: Tom Ogg
As 2020 unfolds so does the reality that digital business communications will continue to become more and more challenging. Never ending SPAM in your mailbox, identity theft and phishing scams and downright irritating non-stop intrusions into your te email and website platforms.
It has become so pervasive that telephone companies actually warn you with a “Spam Likely” message to alert you to the validity of the caller. Email spam filters are making it more and more difficult to effectively use email marketing techniques to a potential client. The realities of digital messaging in 2020 demand that you make changes in the way you communicate in the travel business.
While over the years it has progressively gotten worse and worse, 2020 ushers in the tipping point where you must take action to guarantee that your messaging remains viable. You should also establish your business email address as YourName@YourBusinessName.com. You should start using this address for all of your correspondence. You can always use your AOL address for your personal address if you would like, but be sure to convert any business associates using your AOL address to your new business email address. Here is what you need to do.
Dump Your AOL Email and Get a Vanity Email Address
While AOL peaked in 2000 (along with Hotmail, Yahoo, MSN, GMAIL and other legacy email companies peaking subsequently) it has rapidly become the primary focus of spam filters. Along with presenting an unprofessional image and messaging that you are technological challenged, using one of the legacy email extensions just tells the recipients that you are simply not serious about your business. Here are just a few reasons that you should get rid of you AOL address immediately.
AOL is a Political Cesspool
AOL is pretty much the worst of the worst and if you are using an AOL email account it implies that your political position is consistent with AOL’s. Your vanity email address makes no statements whatsoever. This alone will improve the results that you receive from email.
YourName@YourBusinessName.com Advertises You and Your Business
Your AOL email address advertises AOL, not you or your business, but AOL’s. I personally have picked up the Yahoo redirect virus several times that replaces your chosen search engine with “search.Yahoo.com”. For this reason, whenever I receive a Yahoo email I am very suspect of it and unless I personally know the sender, will not open them. I never open a Hotmail or a MSN address.
Loss of Website Traffic
When you use YourName@YourBusinessName.com You should also use YourBusinessName.com” as your website address. So when someone receives your email they know exactly who is sending it and where to go if they want more information. If you are using an AOL email address your are advertising AOL’s website.
There is a Higher Risk of Your Email Not Reaching Your Recipient
Because of the ever increasing level of spam email being received by everyone, many companies have blocked the most outrageous sources of it like AOL, Hotmail, Yahoo, MSN and others.
AOL Shouts Unprofessional and Being Out of Touch With Technology
As much as we all remember AOL’s hey days in the late 1990s, today using an AOL email address just doesn’t reflect the professionalism and technological expertise that is necessary to succeed in today’s travel marketplace. Just imagine using other technology from the year 2000. That should send a comparison that will put AOL on the spectrum where it should be.
AOL is From a Different Era
Imagine going into a travel agency that still had a tele ticketing machine, a old school CRT computer screen, a thermal paper fax machine, an IBM XT desktop computer with a 1200 baud modem, 2 floppy disks and a black and white dot matrix printer or a Hotel and Travel Index? This is exactly what anyone using an AOL email address is projecting.
How Do I Get My Vanity Email Address?
OK, yes, so I do see the need to get a more professional email address. How do I do it? This is really a more common question than you can imagine and there are a variety of answers for it. A lot depends on if you already have a domain name, or not and if you already have a website under that domain, or not. Assuming all you have is your AOL email address, here are the steps.
Register a Domain Name
The registration of a domain name is easy, find the right one to register is where the challenge lies. There are many domain name registrars, but you should consider your technology needs before you select one that you would like to use. Companies such as GoDaddy, Wix, domain.com, HostGator, BlueHost and others are all capable of not only registering your domain name but also hosting your email service, website and other technologies.
Here are critical things to remember when registering your domain name.
Your Business Name, Niche or Relevant Keyword String
Start with a keyword description of your businesses value proposition and then start looking for the right name. Don’t be discouraged if the perfect name is already taken as it will possibly be for sale if it isn’t actively being used by the owner. There are literally millions of names being held with the hopes of selling them for a profit. Buying the perfect domain name makes a ton of sense as if the selling power is there, it will perform quite well for you on every email that you send and you will control
.com is King
Never settle for anything but a high quality .com domain name. Forget .net, .org and the jillions of other url extensions.
Short and Easy to Say and Spell
The shorter your domain name is the better, as long as it makes your business name descriptive of what you do. And, avoid difficult words to spell. Avoid hyphenated keyword urls and always opt for the keyword or descriptive domain names that are connected without hyphens
Make Your Email Sell
The whole reason for registering a domain name is to get an email address that is memorable, says what your business does, is easy to keyboard and spell, sells both you and your website and presents your unique value proposition to every one that you send email to.
Don’t wait and take action right now. You can have more than one email address so make your business email YourName@YourBusinessName.com and don’t look back.